Charlottesville Restaurant Partners with Local Farm for Italian Earthquake Relief

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Threepenny Cafe, a small farm-to-table restaurant in Charlottesville, Virginia, is partnering with Autumn Olive Farms of Waynesboro, Virginia to raise funds for victims of the recent earthquake in Italy.

Bowl of pasta with guanciale

Spaghetti all'Amatriciana is made with the delicacy guanciale--pork cheek bacon. Its town of origin, Amatrice, was devastated by the recent earthquake.

I chose to reach out to Threepenny because of how they do what they do,” notes Trainum. “They have a very talented chef who already makes great guanciale. . . .They are very diligent and committed to ethical and quality standards and that is rare.

This past weekend the town of Amatrice, Italy should have been celebrating its 50th annual Spaghetti all’Amatriciana Festival. This classic pasta dish epitomizes rustic Italian fare and incorporates the delicacy guanciale—bacon made from pork cheeks.

But instead of celebrating, Amatrice was mourning its dead. On Wednesday, August 24, the town was devastated by the 6.2 earthquake that shook the region and killed 290 people.

When Autumn Olive Farms founder Clay Trainum learned that restaurants worldwide were holding fundraisers for the victims of the earthquake, he knew immediately what he had to do. Located in Waynesboro, Virginia, Autumn Olive Farms raises pigs sustainably, allowing the animals to forage naturally as has been traditionally done. Executive Chef Jeff Deloff of Threepenny Cafe in Charlottesville was already making guanciale from Autumn Olive pork—something few chefs in the area do. So teaming up to honor Amatrice and raise funds seemed right.

“I read about the disaster and this town’s horrific damage and loss of life just prior to their proudest day of the year to showcase their wonderful culinary history and it touched me,“ explains Trainum. “Further reading helped me to realize that they have a rich history in producing great chefs, food and specifically guanciale, which is very dear to my heart.”

Beginning September 1, Threepenny Cafe will be offering Spaghetti all’Amatriciana on its dinner menu, with $5 per order going to Italian earthquake relief via GlobalGiving. Autumn Olive Farms is donating pork for the guanciale, which Deloff will make in the Italian tradition. In addition, Threepenny Cafe has located a foundation willing to match each dollar raised.

“I chose to reach out to Threepenny because of how they do what they do,” notes Trainum. “They have a very talented chef who already makes great guanciale. . . .They are very diligent and committed to ethical and quality standards and that is rare.” Trainum will also be working with Chef Joe Sparatta of Heritage in Richmond, Virginia to extend the fundraiser to that city.

For Deloff, serving Spaghetti all’Amatriciana has two purposes—raising money for earthquake relief and honoring the culinary tradition of the area. “Guanciale is very special and gives this pasta dish depth of flavor you don’t get from regular bacon or even pancetta,” he notes. “We wanted to get involved in the relief efforts, but we also wanted to showcase this dish made the way they do it in Amatrice. It’s a show of support and recognition of the town’s spirit.”

Threepenny Cafe is located at 420 West Main Street in Charlottesville, Virginia. Reservations can be made online or by calling 434-995-5277. Free parking is available.

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Merope Pavlides
@ThreepennyCafe
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